Movie Marketers Seek New Promo Partners
Movie makers are facing a dilemma. Their usual strategy for marketing big-budget summer movies calls for promotional tie-ins with fast food marketers. But the controversial issue of childhood obesity and its alleged connection to junk food is giving filmmakers pause. "All the studios are aware that childhood obesity is an issue," one studio promotions executive said. "They're slowly starting to figure out what they want to do but there hasn't been a shift yet. People are just more aware of it." One solution they are pursuing is new deals with unconventional brands and nontraditional partners. For example, for its movie "Cars," Disney/Pixar has lined up new partners who are relatively new to the film business such as State Farm, Hertz, Goodyear, the U.S. Department of Transportation, Energizer, Valvoline, Mack Trucks, MovieTickets.com, Porsche, Airheads Candy, Intelligent Direct Marketing and NWA World Vacations. Only four of the 17 tie-in partners for "Cars" sell products or develop promotional programs geared specifically for children, as even family movies broaden their reach far beyond traditional kid-targeted brands. "There are more and more promotions happening with companies that haven't done film tie-ins before as Hollywood reaches out to consumers in new and interesting ways," said Brett Dicker, marketing executive vice president at Disney's Buena Vista Pictures unit.